Sat, 12 Mar 2005

Customs destroys fake cigarettes

TANGERANG: The Tanjung Priok Customs and Excise Office in North Jakarta burned on Thursday 18.9 million cigarettes bearing fake excise stickers at the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Head of the office Frans Rupang said the fake cigarettes could have caused up to Rp 10 billion in losses to the state had they been distributed.

He said the office confiscated the cigarettes, which were reportedly imported through Nan Hang seaport in the People's Republic of China.

He revealed that the unlawful importers declared that the products in the containers were electronic appliances.

Minister of Justice and Human Rights Hamid Awaluddin, who also witnessed the burning of the cigarettes, said that he would ask Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Widodo AS to seek clarification from the Embassy of China over the illegal imports. --JP.